I have written more than once before of my combined feelings of sympathy and frustration for these moms, sympathy for their rough life and frustration with their choices that contribute to that rough life. In this situation, though, I have to say that my sympathy certainly outweighs my frustration. This 15 year old's own mother is apparently in and out of her life. Her grandmother, who is thin and wheelchair bound, has custody of the 15 year old. It seems like this 15 year old is sort of out there on her own, left to deal with 27 week twins as well as she can.
She's doing her best. Her twins have had some typical problems of prematurity, such as a patent ductus arteriosus (a blood vessel near the heart that is supposed to close remains open), and she has tried very hard to understand that. Her twins also have some unusual brain cysts (note to clinicians: not PVL), the significance of which is uncertain, but it might not be good. It's a lot for a 15 year old to take in.
I find myself being a little miffed at the 15 year old's mother, for not being there more for her, for not giving her guidance that might have prevented this teenage pregnancy, but I also realize that 15 or 20 years from now these twins might be mothers themselves, and then who am I to blame? The current 15 year old mother? When do we go from feeling sorry for someone because their inadequate upbringing leads to problems in their life, to being frustrated at them for not bringing up their own kids any better?
Is there anything we can do to prevent these twins from following in their mother's footsteps? I think there is. Personally, I think we need to have a big push for education about birth control and preventing teen pregnancies and that this education needs to be done in the schools and with public service advertising. I won't argue with people who say that this subject should best be covered in the home. Sure, it should be, but the fact is that it is not being covered in way too many homes, and way too many people are cutting their education and chances for a better life short because of it.